Theme Of Paganism In Beowulf

Decent Essays

Haley McDermett
Mrs. McLaughlin
English DC Period 3B
15 August, 2017
Beowulf, Christianity, and Paganism
Pagan ideas and values were a large influence in the creation of Beowulf due to the time period it was created in. As the narrative was passed down by mouth Christianity views were slowly developed into the story. The poem was written after Anglo-Saxons were Christianized, even though we can tell that pagan views were still in their mindsets. With these ideals still present, paganism and Christianity were woven into the story, and we see a mix of heroic ideals and self-sacrificing virtues that create a story filled with religious influence. Fame, fate, and vengeance are concepts tied with paganism that are shown throughout Beowulf alongside Christian values of loyalty, humility, sacrifice for the good of others, and the negative consequences of greed and pride. No matter how much the author may have tried to avoid paganism when writing Beowulf, he was unable to do so because of the traditions of paganism that were still carried throughout the culture. Christianity was what people began to strive for, but due to the Anglo-Saxon culture that was evidently paganistic, Christianity values were mixed with Pagan ideals.
The author tries to sneak in Christian aspects since this is the prefered way of life, but also understands that it is still a pagan time period when writing Beowulf. The poet says, “And he gave them more than his glory. Conceived a son for the Danes, a new

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